14,000 government officials caught doing business with the state: report

An investigation by National Treasury has revealed that as many as 14,000 government officials are listed as directors of companies who have contracts with the state, Bloomberg reports, in direct contravention of government regulations.

Treasury also reportedly found the names of 12,000 dead people in its registry of companies, painting a grim picture of how government tenders are fraudulently rigged, to be handed to ‘preferred’ people.

According to Treasury’s procurement office, companies are set up with fake documents and the names of dead people, who then tender for contracts at high and inflated prices – making it seem as if the legitimate companies are offering the same services for much cheaper.

“It looks like there is competition, yet it’s the same guy,” the Treasury unit’s head, Schalk Human told Bloomberg.

Human also said that Treasury would be reporting the 14,000 government officials doing business with the state “even if we have to drag them to court”.

Fraud and inflated prices are said to consume as much as 40% of South Africa’s R600 billion budget.

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